Thursday, February 4, 2010

...And down the stretch they come

We're down to a month or so left in the winter sports season.  Tournaments are right around the corner and the dust is starting to settle.  Plenty of things to talk about so let's get to it.

First off, congrats to Sam Miller and Chase Hoobler. Signing day had to be a very nervous but exciting day for them. Got to be a lot of relief now that the ink is dry. Will try to link to some newspaper/web articles that mention them and their colleges of choice on my Facebook & Twitter pages.

Don't have to join Twitter to read the links, but at least consider bookmarking it. A lot of stuff that's not blog worthy (but still important) is mentioned there.

Boys Hoops
A nice little 3 game win streak should stretch to 4 games as the Colts from Clear Fork stop by this Friday night.  The Riders have won 10 straight against their foes from the Valley, winning by an average of nearly 20 points per game over the last 10 meetings.

The Riders will again invade the Pit on Saturday night for a matchup with the state ranked (more on that below) Triway Titans.  The Riders have won 2 straight over Triway and will look to make it 3 straight and 2 in a row at the Pit.

Triway is somehow still ranked in the Division 2 AP poll, even though they've lost 4 games (Hiland, Timken, Fairless and Wooster).  That's the AP in a nutshell.  The teams at the top of those polls (Northland, Liberty Benton, etc.) are usually deserving, but other than that, it's a guessing game.

The final 4 games for the Riders don't get any easier, with trips to Wooster and Madison and home games with Wadsworth and Lexington left.

Tourney draw is Feb. 14th just so you know.  Still like how this team is playing and how this season is progressing....it's almost too quiet if that makes sense.  Not that I'm complaining, quite the opposite actually.

The March to 1,000
A little bit of a cool weekend for the 1-2 punch of Jake Bolyard and Zach Wasson, or at least not the torrid pace they were setting in the previous few games.  Jake scored 31 in the 2 games, and Zach scored 26 total in the 2 contests.  It's looking more like Jake will be the only Rider to reach 1000 yet this season. 

Jake has 887 career points, putting him a mere 113 points away, or roughly an average of 16 points per game over the next 7 (6 reg. season games + at least 1 tourney game).  To get the record at home against Wadsworth, he'd have to average around 22 or 23 points per game to put him within striking distance.

Zach is up to 828 career points, and unless this team goes to regionals, which is very possible, he'll have to wait until his senior season to bypass 1,000.  Of course by then we may be talking about him eclipsing 1400 career points, so it's just a matter of when for him.

Jake for MVP
You just never know until the vote takes place, but Jake should be the frontrunner for OCC MVP, as he's in the top 12 players in points, rebounds, steals and assists.  Given he was so close last year, you'd think he's the odds-on favorite.  Cheathem from Madison may garner some votes, and in terms of team MVP, I agree.  But this isn't for MVP, it's for player of the year, I think there's a distinction.  One is for the player who has the most positive impact on their team (i.e. the MOST VALUABLE), and the other is simply for THE BEST player.  Right now, Jake is both.

Girls Hoops
Despite having 4 fewer regualr season losses than any other team, the Lady Riders hold a scant 1 game lead in the conference with 3 games remaining.  It's basically a 2 team race between Orrville and West Holmes, with each team having one big test left on the schedule.  The Riders travel to Clear Fork this Thursday and then host Wooster on the 11th, and then finish up the OCC with a home game against Ashland on the 18th.  If they win 2 of those 3, the worst they can do it tie for the league title.

Ashland, Senior and Madison finish off the schedule for West Holmes.  Senior and Madison have the potential to be interesting games.  A loss by the Knights in any of those 3 would all but wrap up the crown for the Lady Riders, our 2nd outright title since the 2003-04 season.

Wrestling
I'll be honest, I don't follow wrestling too much, so I hesitate to write to much about it for fear of showing my lack of knowledge.  I do know that Dennis Raber is the odds on favorite to win state at 160# per the Brakeman Report (scroll to pg. 94 I think).....if he can make the weight.  Last I heard, he was in the high 160's to low 170's....so he's got some work to do.

They will wrestle in the OCC tourney this Saturday starting at 10am at West Holmes (aka The Dungeon), then have a week off to prepare for sectionals the week of 2/15 and districts the week of 2/22.

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